Tag Archives: economics

Three Reasons Why The Republican Tax Plan is a Hoax

 

Republicans are at it again. More accurately, they have never stopped. The hoax was first perpetrated on the middle class in the 1980s. We were told that if we let the Republicans cut taxes on the ‘job creators’ (the Rich) that this would make us all better off. It never happened. If you look at the data since 1980 all that has happened is that inequality has grown exponentially, and so has the national debt. Those are the facts.

 

 

And yet, they have regurgitated these old arguments in new language. Corporations are making record profits, and still we are told that if we cut corporate tax from 35 to 20% they will create jobs. Why are they not creating them now? Again, they have record profits. The reason we don’t have more economic growth in this country is that the middle class and working poor don’t have enough discretionary spending power. Seventy percent of the American economy is based on consumer spending. If we don’t have enough money left over at the end of the month, from paying rent, bills, food, and health care then we cannot afford to grow the economy.

The Republicans will tell you that their tax ‘reform’ package will generate growth. And that it will save the average family $1000 a year—we are too smart for this. The word “average” means that if I cut taxes on ten percent of the people by $10,000 and the rest by zero—then the average is $1000 per person.

There is one more reason why this whole plan is a hoax, and it goes all the way back to Reagan. In the 1980s they cut everyone’s taxes. But then bit-by-bit they raised taxes back on the middle class, but taxes on the wealthy never went back up to where they were.

The reason why Trump loves this tax cut bill is that it will eliminate estate taxes. It will also eliminate the Alternative Minimum Tax, both of which only affect the richest one-percent.  Billionaires will profit greatly from this tax cut and the middle class and working poor will get screwed once again. The ironic tragedy in all of this is that the working-class Trump supporters will support this bill simply because Trump supports it. They will get screwed, but so will a great many other people.

The Small Business Association* doesn’t support this bill because it really does nothing for small businesses. But the Republicans will push it through with their “small business” battle cry. Once again, their rhetoric doesn’t match the reality.

And the Republicans who screamed about the national debt during the Obama administration? They are ominously silent. They only care about the debt when it is helping the poor. When it comes to cutting taxes for the rich, to hell with the debt–blame the Democrats.

How to fight back against this? The same way we fought back against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act—bring demonstrators into the Capitol and shame enough Senators into backing off. Flood your Congressman and Senator with calls and letters. Resist.

The Economics of Climate Change

In his state of the union address, President Obama made it explicit that while we have made progress with regards to reducing our carbon footprint over the past four years, for the sake of our future children, we must do more to fight against the growing problem of climate change. In addition, while we could choose to think that the increased global temperature, the most severe drought in decades, and the increased frequency of natural disasters was just mere coincidence, chances are they are a result of the massive amount of greenhouse gas emissions which have become trapped in our atmosphere.

Amongst climate scientists, there is no doubt that the earth is warming. There is also little doubt that the warming is due to the significant increase of greenhouse gases since the Industrial Revolution caused by human activity. And furthermore, there is also little doubt that the warming of the planet is causing and will continue to cause (at an increasing rate) significant harm to our ecosystem and in turn humanity.

Recently, Richard Muller, an outspoken critic of global warming and a professor of physics at the University of California at Berkeley, began a two year study on the issue. It’s worth noting that this study was funded in part by the billionaire Koch brothers, known for their massive contributions to conservative and libertarian free-market organizations. The result of the two year study – the outspoken skeptic is no longer a skeptic. Muller concluded after extensive research, not only is the global temperature rising, but also the rise in temperature is almost entirely caused by the increase in greenhouse gas emissions due to human activity.

But, to anyone who has investigated or studied the issue, this is not surprising. The problem however is that while these findings should be causing a sense of global fear about our environmental situation, those fears are being drowned out by the greed of corporations and special interest groups. The problem is not so much a problem of awareness but rather a problem of how to get the political community to do something about the situation, especially with such political gridlock regarding the issue.

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